Thursday, June 26, 2014

Nimble OS 2.1 - Cool Stuff - Volume Move

Hi Friends,

Brain is back with another new feature in 2.1 that I think is super cool, which I will file under, "Where the heck was this when I was a System Administrator?!?!?!"

**Volume Move**

Just absorb that for a view minutes.  Okay enough absorbing and onto the learning.  In a <shameless plug for older content> previous blog </shameless plug for older content> I told you about storage pools and how you could move pools from different arrays, have multiple arrays or just a single array host a pool, but what about the volume?  Volumes live in pools and before they moved along with their pool, but now they are free to swim in whatever pool they want!

Let's start from the beginning.  When you create your volume you've had a choice from 2.x to put the volume in the pool of your choice.  Here you see I'm putting my new volume into the "default" pool.  In truth, it was the only pool at the time.  :-)

After our volume is created we can see it's part of "default" and we can also see which arrays are part of default.  Now remember, if you have a pool spanning multiple arrays, that volume will be stripped across those arrays.

Now let's say you're Blanche and you're tired of life on the run and you just want to be an ordinary person living on your single array with your little pool in the backyard.  Bonnie, Clyde and Buck say good riddance, so it's time to be a woman on your own!

The first thing we need to do is get rid of all the baggage that living with these miscreants has caused.  Notice Blanche is carrying 2.66TB of the Barrow Gang's data and if she wants to escape this life of crime she'll need to migrate that data to the remaining members of the Barrow Gang.

Click on Edit and we have the choice to remove an array from the pool.  Remember, if Blanche was never brought into the Barrow Gang, we could just move a volume to her, but alas it's too late she's already a wanted lady.

Now that we've chosen to remove Blanche from the gang we have to migrate all of her data.  You can see something is going on next to Blanche in the GUI.  Let's take a closer look in Data Migration.

In Data Migration, we can see Blanche is migrating her data to Bonnie.  We can see how much has been migrated and what's remaining.  Remember, this is an on-line process that takes lower priority, so don't expect it to be done instantaneously.

When the migration is complete you'll see a message in Data Migration that, "No Items to Show".

Let's go see our "default" storage pool to make sure Blanch has been properly removed from the gang.  If you click on Manage -> Storage Pools we can see where we're at.  Notice Blanche is all alone now and has transferred her data to the remaining members of the gang.

Let's create a new storage pool so we can move our volume out of the gang's clutches!  Click on New Storage Pool, give the pool a name and select an array that will host this pool.  Remember if we had a a new array we wouldn't have to remove an array to do this.

Once the new pool has been created, you can see Blanche is ready to start a new life far away from the influences of the Barrow Gang!

Remember that barrow-gang-vdi volume I created and put on the "default" storage pool?  Well it's time to move it to Blanche.  Click on Manage -> Storage Pools and select the "default" pool.

Once here, you'll see all of the volumes that are part of "default".  Just a point of reference, if you look in the lower left corner, you'll notice Bonnie, Buck and Clyde, but no Blanche, that's what we want to see.  Click on the Move Volumes button to move the barrow-gang-vdi volume.

Click on the "+" mark to select our volume and choose the pool we'll be moving to.  Before we click move, click on the "Selected" tab to see more information.

You'll get lots of good information on the Selected tab and when you're ready, click on the Move button to get things going.

The move has begun and you can see on the page the things are in motion!

Want to watch the data being migrated?  Click on Manage -> Volumes and select your moving volume.

That's it!  Pretty simple huh?  The thing that really amazes me is how flexible and easy this is.  Moving data around like this, LIVE is really cool and make life so much easier for System Administrators!


Friday, June 20, 2014

Feedburner Not Working

Hi Folks,

For those of you that have requested Neil in your Email, Feedburner has not been sending out emails.  I think It was because a user comment had a forwarding website in it.  I hope I've fixed the problem.  If you don't receive this email, please let me know!  :-)


Nimble OS 2.1 - Cool Stuff - Network'o'rama!

Hi Friends,

There's been a bunch of changes with the 700's, the all flash shelf, Adaptive Flash and InfoSight, that sometimes core CASL gets the cold shoulder and I forget to tell you about the cool new features!  Well, there will be no more of that, no longer will core CASL get the cold shoulder! 

I'm going to write a series of blogs around the 2.1.x code, what's new and cool.  Today I'm focusing around Network Configurations.  I know, usually a rather dry and confusing topic around subnets, IP addresses, blah, blah, blah, ZZzzzzzzz.....  Well, Nimble 2.1 is not that way, oh no!  Sure all that dry stuff is in there, but the Nimble Wizards have done a great job to make a complex topic, not so complex  and have really done a great job making it useful and easy to use.

If we go to the Network Configuration area now, it's very different the the 1.x code.  If you're a 1.x veteran, OPEN YOUR MIND!!  :-)  The first thing you'll notice is the Group tab.  Remember, we're no longer just eating for one.  In this case I have a 4 node cluster called the barrow-gang.  I started to show things with arrows and realized I wanted to show too much  and there were arrows everywhere!  So I took a step back and just showed some key features. 

We've got our Management IP area.  This is the address we use to access our cluster.  No longer do each of the individuals of the barrow-gang have their own login.  This makes administration MUCH easier since we're getting a holistic view without having to jump between GUIs.

Now take a look at the Edit and Save as Draft buttons.  Edit is pretty straight forward, but the Save as Draft is really innovative.  Notice there's 4 tabs.  Well, what if I want to save my changes on one tab, but don't want them to go to production right away?  Yep, Save as Draft!

Discovery IP Addresses are just that, they're the IP addresses that an initiator will use to access the Nimble.  And the Default Gateway is whatever gateway your network is part of.

Now I know I don't have it marked, but something I should have.  The iSCSI Host Connection Method.  If you're clustering your arrays, set it to Automatic and forget it.  :-)

Let's head on over to the Subnets tab.  This is a very power tab.  Although it may not look it at first glance, this tab gives you LOTS of choices.  Like the previous view I had to be careful not to over do it with the arrows.

Take a look at Subnet Label.  Pretty straight forward, but very handy when this list gets REALLY long!  Why would this list get really long?  Great question!  See the VLAN ID at the end.  YES!  Now Nimble can do VLANs!  Say you're hosting two departments on the same Nimble and they want nothing to do with each other.  Maybe there was some sort of incident at last years company picnic....  The cool thing is you can completely isolate their traffic from one another.  Sure you need to get some help from the networking folks, but it's small price to pay to not have to hear about the potato salad incident again!!

Where was I?  Ah yes, Traffic Type, again fairly straight forward, but again, very handy when you want to specify what kind of traffic can go down what pipes.  It would be like having an intelligent freeway.  Ferrari, you go in lane 1, econo-box, you go in lane 4, Audi-R8, lane 1, you get the idea. :-)  There's lots of other stuff, but I really wanted to show you VLANs.

How about Interfaces?  Notice there's no green arrows?  That's cause I think the whole tab is cool.  This shows you all the members of the barrow-gang, what interfaces they're plugged into, the link status, the label, IP address, whether it's unconfigured or not, the VLAN ID if any, and if it's Tagged.

I know it's probably silly, but I really like the fact I can see what's copper and what's fibre and if it's green(connected) or red (unconnected).  Immediately I know if I have additional network resources I can use or not.

And finally we have Diagnostics.  It's probably not what you're thinking.  It's not a tab that shows you diagnostics, there's other tabs for that.  This tab is setting the addresses you'll be using for diagnostics and how to reach the array if the front door is blocked.

So some pretty cool stuff huh?  Okay if you thought it was a snoozer, maybe you'll like my next blog...  :-)


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Nimble + Adaptive Flash + You = Awesomeness!

Hi Friends,

Along with the release of the CS700 and the all flash shelf, Nimble has been using a new term, "Adaptive Flash".  You might be thinking, "Bah, it's just a stupid marketing term!"  If you think about it, it's actually a very clever concept.  So there's no confusion and you don't just think it's another silly marketing campaign, I'd like to present to you, Adaptive Flash.

The cool thing about Nimble is in the early days we were creating the support infrastructure to support for the future.  I've talked about it a number of times, InfoSight.  (I've even created an Ode to it, which you can read over in your spare time.)  Not only does InfoSight show you the health of your arrays, but it has invaluable predictive analysis graphs and charts.  If we head on over to InfoSight and click on the Performance tab you can see how one of my arrays has been performing.  Now remember, we're beating the snot out of these arrays for our testing.

Holy macaroni, 688% Peak Cache Usage!!  Notice the recommendation above the usage?  This is extremely usefully for both System Administrators and their managers.  When the application folks come screaming to you why their mission critical application is running so slow, you can present this graph to them and utilize this as ammunition to get the upgrade you need.  Nothing speaks louder then a graph with 688% usage and the yelling application owner helps too.

The other cool thing about Nimble is mixing HDD's with SSD's in the CASL architecture.  We're at a point in technology where these two technologies used synergistically can dramatically speed up your performance while not breaking the bank.

Add on the capability to order a Nimble in either a 200, 400, or 700, with varying size HDD's, SSD's, an all flash shelf, AND the ability to cluster up to four arrays together and stripe a volume on just one or across all four!  That's pretty adaptive technology, wouldn't you say?

Take the power of InfoSight and it's ability to spot and predict when resources, including flash, are running low and combine it with the super adaptiveness of the Nimble array running CASL to customize the amount of flash you need to make your application fly like a rocket ship, without the cost.  And with this I give you Adaptive Flash!


Smoking Hot! - Nimble's New CS700 & All Flash Shelf

Hi Friends,

Not sure if you've heard yet, but Nimble has released a new line of storage controller, the CS700!  What's that mean?  More storage, more speed, and the size?  Still 3U and takes the same amount of power as the 400, but 2.5X the performance!  I love technology!

Check this out, I ran IOmeter against one of the 700's and I'm getting around 120 thousand IOPS.  Notice I'm getting about 120 before and after my cache was hot, just a bit smoother once the cache is warmed up.  Remember, your mileage will vary. :-)

Need more cache?  Nimble also released an all flash shelf, up to 12.8TB of additional flash if you need it.  Remember, this is not to store your data, only to speed things up!

Oh, and what happens when we cluster 4 700's together?  Half a million IOPS!  Again, your mileage will vary. :-)


Monday, June 9, 2014

Brain & Wendel #17 - OpenStack Revisited - Storage Considerations

Hi Friends,

A new Brain & Wendel for you!  Wen recently got back from an OpenStack conference and he shares all of the new goodies he saw and discusses the topic he presented on.  If you're interested in "The Cloud", thinking of outsourcing, or just want to know what the heck all this "cloud" stuff is about, be sure to tune in!  Check out the new logo and the new Brain and Wendel home! (click on the picture below)